In annual gardens, transitioning from the warm to cold growing season means that we get to harvest and enjoy the literal fruits of our labor! This week at Toluca Lake Elementary, garden class revolved around harvesting ready fruit and pulling out old plants in order to make room for new season crops.
Before the harvest, students were taught a lesson on the seasons and climate. Younger students talked about how some plants like to grow in colder weather, while some like it hotter, just like people! They then brainstormed some foods that they typically eat in the summer versus the winter. Older students differentiated between weather and climate, and learned about the distinguishing features of southern California’s Mediterranean climate. They then played a guessing game where the teacher named a food and a weather condition, and they had to guess whether the crop was thriving during that season or dormant.
After the lecture, students were allowed to explore the garden and try to identify plants at the end of their growing season and ready to pick. One class harvested a tomatoes, another class found a spaghetti squash, and the last class picked Long Beans.
We concluded class by discussing that what we plant in the garden may not be for us to eat. Some students or garden ranger planted these beans for someone else, not themselves. Kids got the chance to understand this concept of selfless farming, and then enjoyed their garden snack!